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IPFS News Link • Venezuela

Venezuela's opposition -and Juan Guaidó - face a critical test in Sunday's National Assembly

• Rachelle Krygier and Anthony Faiola

For Guaidó, the vote amounts to a do-or-die moment. One year ago, he declared President Nicolás Maduro a usurper for claiming victory in tainted elections and declared himself Venezuela's rightful leader - an assertion based on Guaidó's status as head of the assembly. But after a year of failed attempts to oust Maduro, Guaidó is now struggling to maintain opposition unity, confronting flagging domestic support and scrambling to counter an alleged plot against him.

Maduro's socialist government has sought to thwart Guaidó's reelection by allegedly bribing and intimidating lawmakers to turn against him. Should enough of them abandon Guaidó on Sunday, the Washington-backed 36-year-old would no longer be able to defend his presidential claim as being rooted in the Venezuelan constitution.

"It would create an international disruption and put us in a very critical situation," said Luis Stefanelli, a Venezuelan lawmaker now living in exile in the United States. "We need Guaidó there. The government knows it."